Monday, January 24, 2011

Season of the Witch - My review

Season of the Witch promised to be full of angry, power-hungry, cruel, tyrant Catholic priests and did not disappoint on that account, excepting perhaps one single priest. Its view on the Crusades was the usual simplistic and uninformed crap.

For your information, in 712, Arab Muslims invaded Spain (a christian country) from Morocco, and they didn't stop there. When did the Crusades take place? The first (and only successful one) took place in 1095. So just how long did it take Christian countries to get their act together, and stop battling each other long enough to get together to fight a common ennemy? Hmmmm, you do the math.

No, the Crusades weren't about power-hungry, hate-filled Christians attacking the peace-loving, minding-their-own-business Muslims, simply because not sharing the same fatih made them enemies of Jesus Christ.  Not only is that extremely simplistic, it is quite simply wrong. These particular muslims; Sarrasins, were neither peace-loving nor minding their own business.

This isn't to say that I believe all the Christian soldiers were noble, faultless men who never killed unnecessarily and were innocent of war-crimes. But then again, neither were the Sarrasins. War was a bloody, ugly thing back then. Oh wait, war is STILL a bloody, ugly thing.

Neither do I believe that all Muslims are on a jihad quest.  In fact, all of the Muslims that I personally know are the peaceful, minding their own business type.

The latter half of the film, was gory, but still better than the first half. Now that we had established the fact that the Catholic Chruch was run amock with power-hungry tyrants and mindless minions, we could finally get on with the story at hand, which turned out not too bad. Now if I could have just skipped the whole first half, I might have liked it.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

101 reasons to be happy - Reason number thirty-six

Summer vacation

This is like... so Marc and me...

Seriously, this would be me, berating Marc on a beach somewhere.  Whenever we go camping somewhere, or when we went to Québec when we were still living in Prince George BC, all Marc wanted to do was relax and do nothing.  He was like, "Finally, nothing to do, nowhere to go..." and me, the one who doesn't get out, I was all like, "Yay!  Places to go, people to see!!"  I have learned that I have to let him have at least 2 or 3 days in which to relax and do nothing, and then we can go and do stuff... Unfortunately, when your vacation only lasts 5 days or so, cramming stuff into the last 2 days is... well... not so much fun after all... Next time I go anywhere with him, I will be prepared though... trip to the library beforehand... I'll be bringing books with me... if I can't go anywhere, at least I won't be bored.

Friday, January 21, 2011


Coke or Pepsi?  If only choices were so simple.

Life or death?

What if your choice eliminates my choice?  What if your right eliminates my right?

Does a peanut butter loving child have the right to choose to eat a peanut butter sandwich in a classroom shared by a peanut-allergic classmate?  Whose right is more important?  The right to chose what to eat?  Or the right to life and health?

Does the right to arms give a person the right to practice shooting in a public park?  Or does the right to life and safety of the general public restrict him to a special shooting range set aside for just that?

Does the right to choose how to live your life give you the right to kill your spouse if you no longer wish to be married to him/her? 

Does the right to choose to be free and unfettered give you the right to drown your four children in a bathtub?  Does it give you the right to kill the child in your womb? 

Why does choice override the most basic right of all?  The right to life.  Whose choice?  Not the child's.

Monday, January 17, 2011

101 reasons to be happy - Reason number thirty-five

Having something to live for... but more importantly, having something you'd be willing to die for... (unlike poor John Lennon - I hate to IMAGINE what his own personal Purgatory looks like...)

101 reasons to be happy - Reason number thirty-four

Sitting around a campfire, eating marshmallows, singing, telling ghost stories, conversing, stargazing... or whatever it is that you do around a campfire...

101 reasons to be happy - Reason number thirty-three

A rip-roaring, crackling, popping, sizzling, blazing fire in one's hearth...

Sunday, January 16, 2011

101 reasons to be happy - Reason number thirty-two


101 reasons to be happy - Reason number thirty-one

A good movie...


In this case, it isn't me getting the make-over, but my hairdressing corner.  I can't call it a salon, because I only get a corner of the office space.  But for now, it's enough. 

The dresser I have been using as a hairdressing station is a rather old dresser and the top is stained, the surface is rippled, and it doesn't look all that nice.  The number one reason I am doing a make-over on it though, is because there is no overlapping edge.  I had a stand that could clip on an overlapping edge for hot irons.  But I have no overlapping edge.  I have inserts for hot irons and a blowdryer, that you drill a hole for, then insert into the top surface, but right underneath, there is a drawer, and I'd never be able to get the drawer open again with these inserts sticking downward.

Old dresser with worn out top surface
I have been reflecting on this situation awhile now, and until last week, thought the best way would be to cut the drawer, make it smaller and put the inserts into the newly drawerless side.  But that would take a good amount of work and probably wouldn't end up all that nice.  Then it hit me.  Instead of cutting stuff up, why not just add a new top surface?!  This would give me an overlapping edge wide enough to put the inserts into, without getting in the way of a drawer, and I'd also be able to clip on the clip-on stand!  As an added bonus... the old ugly surface gets replaced by a much nicer one.
When I say a much nicer one, I have to admit (while patting myself on the back) that I am very proud of the way that my new surface has turned out.

The inspiration for the new surface came from a ceramic wall plate I have hanging on the wall in the office.  I bought it in Areguá, Paraguay in 1993. 

Ceramic plate from Areguá, Paraguay
Aregua is the capital of ceramic in Paraguay.  It is also right on the shores of Lake Ypacarai, so I am assuming that this image was inspired by that lake.  I decided to paint the edges in the same theme as on the ceramic plate, using different images of Paraguay.

Areguá - Inspired by ceramic plate
Areguá is on the shores of Lake Ypacarai, (in the greater Asunción area) so I imagine that the original image on the ceramic plate was inspired by the lake.  That image is what inspired this new one.

Inspired by countryside on the way to Ciudad del Este
This view is inspired from what I remember of the view of the countryside, on the way to Ciudad del Este from Asunción, not too far from Minga Guasu.

Greater Asunción area
The larger mountain in the foreground to the left and the two behind and to the left of it, are actual mountains within about 70 kms or so of Asunción. I don't remember the exact place, but I have a number of photos of that particular mountain

Reductions and Encarnación
The view of the right hand side of the river is an actual view of an actual sunset on the Paraná river outside of Encarnación, Paraguay. The Ruins on the extreme left are of actual ruins at the San Ignacio Mini Reductions (Jesuit mission), near Posadas, Argentina.  This is the only image here that isn't from Paraguay, but it is just on the other side of the Paraná river from Paraguay. I visited those reductions and others like them on the Paraguayan side in 1993.

I have painted and waterproofed the surface and all that is left to do is to drill the holes needed to insert the curling irons and blowdryer, and my hairdressing station will be much more efficient (not to mention safer - hot irons equal burnt hands if one is not careful!) and to boot it will have way more style and will take me away to another world everytime I go down there to do hair.  (Pats self on back again)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

101 reasons to be happy - Reason number thirty


And for a mother, sometimes anything can equal a roadtrip, even if it is just a trip ALONE to the grocery store...

Tuesday, January 11, 2011